Dover law enforcement and protesters march in solidarity
Dover Police joined protesters for part of their demonstration against police brutality and racial injustices Saturday in the state’s capital.
Demonstrators and officers locked arms and marched around Legislative Mall to show unity.
Delaware Capitol Police Chief Michael Hertzfeld addressed the crowd before the march - agreeing changes are needed.
“The mission why you’re out here is for true change. That’s what we all want. Black, white, yellow, green, red it doesn’t matter,” Hertzfeld said. “The change is now and you folks are expressing your God-given right to as well as your constitutional right to move forward.”
Hertzfeld aslo stressed accountability for law enforcement and finding common ground.
“The true message is not race. The true message is humanity. And humanity as a people and as human beings, we’re all built the same. Our complexions maybe the different. But, we’re built the same. We have the same equipment from that standpoint and should all be treated equally,” Hertzfeld said.
Dover Police Chief Thomas Johnson encouraged the group to continue to protest. but explained the officers’ roles at demonstrations.
“So, I’m not here to say don’t show up tomorrow. Don’t show up the next day. I’m not here to say any of that. I’m actually here to say we’d like to come out and to be part of that process,” Johnson said. “We have to take care of traffic. We have to take care of security. We have to take care of day-to-day policing issues and 911 has to function. A lot of things all have to happen.”
The march included stops at the Kent County Courthouse and the Dover Police Station, before heading Route 13 where traffic was stopped with police helping manage the situation.
Protesters have staged peaceful demonstrations throughout the Dover area all week after an initial demonstration a week ago ended in some vandalism and resulted in three arrests.
Dover Police are expected to meet with the community leaders over the issue on Tuesday.